Chambery Day Trips – A Trip to The Alpine Crossroad
There are plenty of airports on the Alpine map which despite serving primarily as transfer hubs offer access to some real local treasures. An example to perfectly illustrate the point would be Chambery, as while it’s not exactly rare to hear skiers by the thousand talking about heading through Chambery, hardly any will tell tales of their time in Chambery.
In our opinion at least this is quite the shame as Chambery is a truly stunning corner of France the likes of which never fails to captivate those that actually bother making the short journey into town. And it really is short too – the city centre lies less than 10 km from the arrivals hall!
What makes Chambery the perfect place for a daytrip while passing through is the way in which you can get around everything there is to see on foot in no time at all. The biggest draw of the town is of course the stunning medieval section that’s somehow stood the tests of time and remain largely unchanged in centuries.
If you happen to find yourself in town on a bright and clear day, bicycle hire comes highly recommended. The best place to head is the Velostation right in front of the main train station, where for no more than two or three euros you can take a bike for half a day and really get to know the streets of Chambery.
If you have a little more time to kill, there are plenty of local buses running from various points across town to the various vineyards that line the surrounding hills for a spot of wine tasting.
What to See
As stated, the medieval quarter is where all the most stunning streets, alleys and historic buildings can be found, so be sure to take a lazy walk around. The Chateau de Chambery also used to be where the Shroud of Turin was held, though is today simply an impressive building used for local government purposes.
It’s also worth taking a trip to the Elephant Fountain which you’ll no doubt see gracing almost every postcard you come across. In the region, it’s known informally as the “Four Buttless” for the simple fact that none of that four elephants that make up the fountain seem to have rear-ends.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in town on a Saturday, probably the most compelling and genuinely joyful experiences imaginable can be had at the weekly market. Here you’ll find quite simply the very best meats, cheeses, wines and other products from all over the Alps as they make their way to some of the finest restaurants in France.
And on the subject of food, if you’re only here for a short time on your way to or from your final ski destination, be sure to make time to sample the local fondue Savoyarde, tartiflette, crêpes and goat cheese – all of which are just heavenly!
Chambery is far more than just a conveniently located airport – think about it next time you head out this way!
Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org